Heavyweight Jersey Joe Walcott throws a right hand with bad intentions at Elmer “Violent” Ray.
This is a shot taken during either the second or third fight between Jersey Joe Walcott and Elmer “Violent” Ray. Both fights took place within a few months of each other and both resulted in very close decision wins, one for Ray and the final contest for Walcott. The two had fought each other once before early in their careers when Walcott scored a knockout over Ray. The first fight was in 1937. The final two were in 1946 and 1947.
. This is another of those amazing pictures that captures so much of what is happening in this fight. Though it is just a fraction of a second of action, it shows us two very skilled fighters at work. We see that Walcott has moved to his right and has let fly a very hard right hand. It is possible he feinted Ray with a jab before doing this as Elmer’s right hand appears to be in position to parry a jab. His left is low but also in position to deliver a hook to the body.
Joe is putting the force of his entire body behind the blow. You can see how he has shifted the weight of his body from his right foot to his left, up on the toes of his right and flat footed with the left. He has also dropped his right shoulder further increasing the force of the blow. Just look at the power and torque in his shoulder and chest muscles. His eyes are focused on Ray, and you can see he is ready to follow up with the left hook.
So, what about Elmer Ray? Well, he certainly is no slouch. As great a move as Walcott has just pulled off, it appears from Elmer’s position that he was sucked in by the feint, but he has reacted well to the move. As soon as he realized what was coming he went to a defensive move and slipped under the punch. Because it happened so fast he is still feeling the power of the blow, but Walcott does not connect to a vulnerable area of Ray’s anatomy. Elmer Ray shows us the art of slipping a punch.
I get more enjoyment just looking at this photo than I can get out of watching any of the so called champs of today in a live fight. Maybe they should take some time to look at pictures such as this. They might learn something. Of course, it would probably just confuse them.
– Bobby Franklin